Effects of Dietary Octacosanol on Ram Semen Parameters
The fate of sheep production operations is predicated by ewe conception rates. Dietary octacosanol has demonstrated several effects on different metabolic and reproductive functions across various species. Twenty-four spring-born ram lambs were placed in this study investigating the chemical compound’s effects on testosterone secretion and semen quality, and observing any differences in effects between rams of different breeds; Rambouillet and Suffolk. Lambs were divided randomly between control and treatment pens at the Management, Instruction and Research Center, where control pens were fed an ad libitum base ration, Ram20, and treatment pens were fed the same ad libitum base ration, Ram20 plus octacosanol at an inclusion rate of 0.25% of the total ration. Semen samples were collected utilizing the QwikCheck Gold automated sperm quality analyzer. Preliminary results suggest octacosanol may serve as an effective means to improve the quality of semen, however results may vary depending on the breed being treated.